Monday, August 6, 2012


Or How To Fix the Air

When all images and thoughts have been silenced in the mind, we can truly begin to focus on the conscious self. At this point the conscious mind may appear to shrink in size. While this is happening remain focused on your breath. Soon you will encounter what I call the breath of Mid-Sleep.

When starting out meditating you may find yourself nodding off. When this happens the head usually dips and you wake yourself back up again. This is the sharp drop-off towards deep sleep. What we are trying to achieve in this meditation exercise is a slow gradient in which the mind or body never actually gets to fall asleep. No doubt you will have experienced this sensation many times throughout your life. It comes when you are just about to drift off -- the mind is quiet, the breathing becomes heavier and then you either wake up again or lose consciousness entirely.

Although this type of breathing occurs naturally when one is asleep, it is harder to reproduce while awake.

When you rest in the nature of mind; devoid of all thought and imagery, begin focusing on the breath. Not only will you be able to feel the breath much clearer, but you will actually become it. The air will seem thicker in your lungs, and yet at the same time fresher.

The Breath of Mid-Sleep could also be called the Double Breath, this is because it feels like you breathe twice, for each inhale. First you draw the air into your lungs, but then you draw more in on top of it. The second bout of air pushes down on the first and then when the resistance is overcome, the two flow passed one other. This is a very pleasurable sensation and is no doubt what stimulates the body into producing the chemical which sends one off to sleep.

It is well known that the body repairs itself during sleep, in response to this chemical. Therefore the Breath of Mid-Sleep is conducive to the repair of the body and should be recognised as such. Conscious recognition and direction from the meditator will speed the process of recovery.

From this more substantial air the ethereal body is able to manifest dreams. It is even possible that if the meditator were to become adept enough that he/she could use this breath to manifest dream objects, and people, in the real world. Literally, manifesting physical objects from 'thin air'.

The Alchemists believed that natural things were divested of a 'life-force' and could be harnessed through alchemical processes. The most notable of these processes is called the Fire of Recirculation. Basically, a liquid that was deemed to have a substantial amount of life-force associated with it (i.e. dew, grape juice, or even urine) is placed over a steady flame, causing the fluid to gently convect. It was believed that if this level of heat was maintained for 3 years the alchemist would produce the Philosopher's Stone. In a sense, the Breath of Mid-Sleep can be seen to be analogous to the Fire of Recirculation, because air contains a very potent life-force and is continuously recirculated throughout the lungs and the body. Unlike urine or grape juice, however, the air cannot be consolidated into the Philosopher's Stone by means of heat. However, as I have already shown, the Breath of the Mid-Sleep is an effective way of 'fixing' the air (or to make it heavier), and so it is certain that the positive effects of this meditation on the body are akin to those of the Stone of the Philosophers.

When you are confident that you can create the Breath of Mid-Sleep with ease, begin to raise consciousness, back out of itself and back into the normal world. Continue to breathe in this fashion for some time, whilst remaining conscious of your surroundings.

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